This post may contain affiliate links, which means I receive a commission if you choose to purchase through links I provide.
Every day, I get a bazillion questions about blogging and social media. I know when I started out that I had a ton of questions so I try to help as many people as I can. I know I really appreciated all the help I received when I started out.
This post is just a resource guide. I will provide links to all of the things I use or have used to help grow my blog. Eventually, I will also put together an FAQ post as well.
Blogging Platforms and Hosts
Blogger: I started my blog on Blogger. It is a great way to see if blogging is for you without making a costly commitment.
WordPress: I ended up moving from a free Blogger blog to a self-hosted WordPress which was the best decision I made.
SiteGround: Everyone is going to say their host is the best. I had worked with one other host but I wasn’t crazy about their customer service. So I ended up selecting SiteGround and I am pretty happy so far. Find out how to start a blog with Siteground here.
Blog Design and Themes
StudioPress: If you want a website that is super easy to customize and looks great, check out StudioPress.
EmPress: I currently use Hayes from EmPress. If you like beautiful, feminine themes, you’ll like EmPress.
Yoast SEO: This was the first plugin I installed. This tool helps you with SEO so you can get more traffic from search.
Basic Photography Equipment
Camera: You can do a lot of your blog and Instagram photography with your smartphone so if you don’t have a camera that is okay.
Reflector: This will help you make the most of the light you already have in your home and takes up almost no space.
Advanced Photography Equipment
DSLR Camera: If you have the money to invest, I would suggest purchasing a nice camera, even if you can only afford to buy one used.
Lenses: People bash the kit lenses but they will do well for you if you can’t invest in lenses. If you want to take your photos to the next level, purchase a 50mm lens for your camera. I’d really recommend going with the 1.4 so you can take pictures in lower light but the lenses will be considerably more expensive than a 1.8. Canon 50mm 1.8 or 50mm 1.4 Nikon 50mm 1.8 or Nikon 50mm 1.4
Light Kit: When natural light isn’t enough, a softbox lighting kit is your best bet. My set breaks down pretty easily so it doesn’t take up a ton of space.
Free Photo/Video Editing Software
iPiccy: If I need to do basic edits on pictures for my blog, this is the site I use. As of right now, it is free. I love that it doesn’t require downloading anything on my computer.
iMovie: For free video editing software, this is my number one recommendation. I am on a Mac so I don’t have a free recommendation for Windows.
Canva: This online editor is great for creating images like pins for Pinterest, YouTube cover art, or Infographics.
Advanced Editing Software
Adobe Creative Cloud: I’ve been using Adobe Creative Suite for years. The Creative Cloud plans allow you to pick which applications you want to use.
Social Media Automation
CoSchedule: This scheduler allows me to plan out my content in advance. It also helps me manage my Twitter and Facebook shares for all of my posts.
Email List Management
Mail Chimp, Mailer Lite, and Flodesk: These are three popular email programs. I’ve used Mail Chimp in the past but now use Flodesk and I can’t recommend it enough.
ShareASale: This affiliate network has a wide variety of programs. With everything from web hosting to children’s toys, there is an affiliate program for every niche.
Howl: This is a newer affiliate network that works with an interesting mix of retailers from beauty brands to Best Buy.
I will continue to update this list as I learn about additional tools and resources for blogging. Looking for a particular type of tool? Leave a comment and I will try to find what you need.